The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 13, 1999


Up to 500 cyclists to warm up in Carlisle on Sunday

If you're the type who gets anxious about bicycle riders on the road or long lines at Kimball's, maybe you should plan to be out of town on August 15. This Sunday, up to 500 bicyclists are expected to wheel their way through town between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. as part of "A Day in the Ride" warm-up for the Boston-to-New York AIDS Ride in September.


Kathleen Norton, rider services manager, emphasized that the ride is not a race. The participants will be stretched out over 30 or more miles. While clustering of riders might occur, they are constantly reminded by a large number of ride marshals to travel in single file and follow the rules of the road. Violation of any of the standard road laws is cause for the rider to be removed from the event.

Norton also stated that there will be hundreds of support crew, including an on-road medical staff, teams to help riders through hazardous intersections and roaming tech-support teams who will help riders repair bicycles. The ride is fully insured for property damage and general liability.

On August 3, the board of selectmen approved the event, subject to the concurrence of town public safety officials, the board of health and ConsCom and on the condition that Carlisle be named on the group's certificate of insurance. Selectman Vivian Chaput also requested that in the future the ride reduce the number of miles traveled on Carlisle roads.


Cyclists participating in the ride have the option of a 40-mile route or a 60-mile route, to become acquainted with others who will ride in September and to hone the skills required to ride safely in a group. Approximately half of each route is located entirely within Carlisle.

The shorter route starts in Chelmsford and enters Carlisle from Lowell Street, turning right onto Curve Street, left on Route 225, right on Cross Street, right on South Street and right onto Pope Road into Concord. The route then returns to Carlisle via Monument Street onto Route 225, then right on Lowell Street back into Chelmsford, then back into Carlisle from Proctor Road, onto Lowell Street into the center and then left on Maple Street, left on East Street, right on Rutland Street, left on North Road and right on Lowell Street. The longer route adds a segment on Stearns Street, Baldwin Road, Russell Street, Concord Road, South Street and West Street.

Rest stops in Carlisle are planned at Great Brook Farm State Park and the Cranberry Bog, subject to the approval of the conservation commission. Ride organizers will provide portable toilets, water, food and tables for each rest stop and will clean up after the event.

The route will be marked with spray chalk, similar to that used by most highway repair crews, according to ride organizers. The road markings will wash away after four to five rainstorms, or sooner, in areas of heavy traffic. Additionally, organizers may install "caution" and "ride single file" signs along the route to encourage rider safety and to alert motorists of the bicyclists. The signs are to be removed the same day as the event.

Track record

The Boston to New York AIDS Ride is a three-day, 275-mile bicycle ride from Boston to New York City. As reported by Norton, over 3,000 riders will participate and will raise over $7 million for Fenway Community Health Center in Boston, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York City.

1999 marks the sixth year of the AIDS rides. Beginning in 1994 with the California AIDS Ride, which raised $1.6 million, the AIDS ride has now raised more than $90 million to help those with AIDS and to prevent the spread of the disease. According to Norton, this year over 12,000 individuals will participate in one of five AIDS rides around the country, and more than $25 million will be raised for over 30 AIDS service agencies around the country.

The Boston to New York AIDS Ride will take place September 16 through 18.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito